Thanksgiving Photography Tips

Photographing Thanksgiving

Canadian Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians! For my friends around the world not celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend, you can tuck away the information below for another time!

As I went to prepare this post, I looked back in my archives for some Thanksgiving images; certain, I’d find a few. I found plenty of Autumn photographs but very few Thanksgiving specific pictures. I know that past Thanksgivings have held many wonderful family memories, but in the hustle and bustle of those moments, it appears I forgot to pick up my camera. So my lesson here for myself and one that I want to remind you of is that everyday moments matter. No matter how trivial those moments seem, taking the time to pick up your camera and capture at least one meaningful memory every day, or as often as possible, is worth it. You’ll be glad you did.

Here are a few ideas I have about how you can infuse Thanksgiving into your photographs this year.

1. Included a seasonal item in your image

Make it bold or include a subtle hint of the season and holiday in your photographs this Thanksgiving. Autumn is in her glory during Canadian Thanksgiving, so my home is decorated with touches of fall. Including these touches within your images adds an excellent seasonal feel in addition to the sentiments the time of year evokes.

ISO 200, 35mm, 3.2f, 1/400SS

ISO 200, 35mm, 3.2f, 1/400SS

2. Get creative

Don’t be afraid to get creative. I adore sparkle and bokeh and enjoy infusing colour into my frames. In the image below, I used fall garland and a decorative pumpkin to capture a Thanksgiving-themed image. Creatively using seasonal props is fun for myself and my children when we photograph Thanksgiving.

ISO 1600, 35mm, f2.5, 1/250SS

ISO 1600, 35mm, f2.5, 1/250SS

3. Capture the details

My family typically spends Thanksgiving with extended family, but last year we enjoyed a quiet Thanksgiving at home. Take a moment to capture the festivities, including dinner preparation, the meal, dessert and other traditions that are favourites. When you look back over the years and are transported to those memories and emotions, it’ll be worth the time it took to stop and capture an image.

ISO 1250, 35mm, f3.2, 1/200SS

ISO 1250, 35mm, f3.2, 1/200SS

4. Capture outdoor activities too

Do you have an outdoor Thanksgiving tradition? Maybe it’s a wagon ride or visit to the pumpkin patch, or perhaps it’s just a walk in the park during the evening exploring the beauty of Autumn nature? Don’t forget to bring your camera along with you to record these moments too. I know my family always enjoys a fall walk in Autumn’s pretty evening light!

ISO 800, 135mm, f2.8, 1/1250SS

ISO 800, 135mm, f2.8, 1/1250SS

Regardless of whether you are celebrating Thanksgiving or not this coming weekend, I wish for you a wonderful weekend filled with family connection!